“There are no circumstances where this type of language is acceptable, and it only serves to denigrate a member of our community and degrade our public discourse.” – Jim Bradley, Chair of Niagara Regional Council in Niagara, Ontario
A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper, followed by a Statement from Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley
Posted May 1st, 2020 on Niagara At Large
A Commentary by Doug Draper, journalist, Niagara At Large –
I read about the totally out-of-line and disgusting words reportedly used by a member of the Niagara community in order to, in some sick way, humiliate and smear St. Catharines Regional Councillor Laura Ip in a story that was posted by The St. Catharines Standard this April 30th.
Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley is absolutely right to call the language, used by this person, who has run for political office in Niagara and, thankfully, has never won, “repugnant,” to say the least.
With so many other serious things going on in our lives and our world right now, my initial thought was not to post anything about this sewage here, much less possibly give the individual in question some perverse satisfaction by mentioning his name.
Yet, since Jim Bradley and his council were good enough to issue the following statement, I certainly want to put it on for the sake of Councillor Ip, and for another reason, which is this.
Posting this is also an opportunity to say how good it is that such a statement has been issued by the Region’s council, in stark contrast to so many times during the last term of Regional Council, that the individual who previously held Jim Bradley’s seat could have and should have issued statements like this when a member of councillor or when one or more members of the public were verbally insulted or smeared, yet didn’t.
As for this episode, here is one more example of the kind of discourse people are subjected to far too often in this age of cowardly, on-line trolls and high-profile figures like Trump, who could and should be role models for decency, yet choose to set such an awful example.
Enough from me though.
Here is the Statement issued by Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and members of Regional Council –
Niagara Regional Chair’s statement regarding inappropriate comments directed toward Councillor Ip
Regional Chair Jim Bradley offered the following statement this May 1st, 2020 regarding comments recently reported in the media related to Regional Councillor Laura Ip:
“On behalf of Regional Council, I want to formally denounce the offensive and repugnant comments directed towards Regional Councillor Ip. There are no circumstances where this type of language is acceptable, and it only serves to denigrate a member of our community and degrade our public discourse.
Councillor Ip has taken the high road in response to this unfortunate event and is choosing to keep her concentration on her important role as a hardworking Regional Councillor. I believe the Councillor’s dedication and tenacity speaks for itself and her commitment to our Region is beyond reproach.”
Here is a recent story on this sorry episode, published by The St. Catharines Standard. To read it, click on – https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/9966508-niagara-region-councillor-taken-aback-by-hurtful-online-attack/ .
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I too read the report in the Niagara Dailies. whatever one thinks of municipally elected representatives, whether party affiliated or not, there is no place for such disgusting comment. I feel lucky in a sense, as I use no Social Media and follow no local podcasts so missed this all — lucky me. …. Not only did (the person who put out this podcast) run many times for a political party, but also ran for Mayor of St. C in 2014. I attended the mayoral debate at Ridley College. Not impressed.
Councilor Ip has taken the high road; her critic has not. While one may not always agree with Councilor Ip, as far as I know, she does not attack persons of faith although she may criticize religious beliefs. Fair game.
Her critic’s attacks are very personal and suggest a lack of clarity about the issues at hand. Like Trump, he seems to attack the person because he doesn’t seem to understand the issue that upsets him. So, he simply attacks and excuses the attack by suggesting that is just how he is when he gets angry. In other words, he stops thinking when he gets upset. Not such a socially useful behavior, I suggest.
However, please don’t characterize his attacks as masculine verbal assaults on women. Intelligent, decent men do not behave as this fellow did. They think. They focus on issues and respect all persons. They don’t necessarily agree but they do not attack the person. No, this fellow speaks for himself and in doing so reveals his poverty of reason and argument. That is not a personal attack but a critique of behavior!
I hope Councilor Ip will run again. While I may not agree with her are many topics. Her voice is one that needs to be heard.